February 6, 2009

Ewald Kooiman (1938-2009)

Filed under: Big loss — Cristina de Prada @ 3:21 pm

This picture was taken in August 2008 in front of the Somontano vineyards in Spain.

Last Wednesday, February 4th 2009, we said goodbye for the last time to my friend and father-in-law Ewald Kooiman. My own father having died in 1991, Ewald took the role of a second father to me, and was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, colleague and friend.

His death, at 70 years of age, came very unexpectedly. The very picture of health, I’ve never met in my life anyone so fit, so health conscious, so careful with his diet, so fanatic of exercise and bodybuilding… but yet his heart stopped on the 25th of January while he was sleeping. He was on holidays, enjoying the sun…

He was at the peak of his career and of his life.

A worldwide famous concert organist and scholar, he was recording for the 3rd time the full organ works of J.S. Bach , this time for the Aeolus label.  He was two thirds through the recording, and it will be a great loss to all the fact that he will never get to finish this task that he so enthusiastically had undertaken.

You can see him and hear him play on this video made during these last recordings:

And this link is to another video made during the recordings.

We will miss his music, but much more so he will miss him, because the void he has left behind will be impossible to fill.

We have (and there are) no words to describe what we are feeling, what he meant to us, how much we love him, the immense feeling of loss, the need to see him again, to give him a big hug, to make some jokes, to tell him that surely this was some ridiculous misunderstanding, that he is not really gone…

…but he is, and our heart is broken.


  1. Dear Peter and Cristina,

    We were glad to be able to attend the service at the Westerkerk, Amsterdam. It was a beautiful service, with great carefully chosen music. I also enjoyed the life-story from Peter and Mirjam, and the stories from friends and colleagues. Although I can’t say I knew Ewald very well, I remember some details: The name sign on the door, bodybuilding, the small office in the back yard, Ewalds sense of humor and his full laugh.

    It was especially good to see both of you and Peters family! Seeing you after such a long time brought back a lot of fond memories.

    Kind regards,
    Ymkje de Boer-Broersma & Rudolf de Boer

    Comment by Rudolf en mevr. De Boer — February 6, 2009 @ 6:09 pm

  2. Dear Mrs. de Boer, Dear Rudolf,

    The circumstances were really sad, but we were happy to see you again. I have good memories of your friendship with Peter, and concerning Ewald I remember you always asked him for his last CD to give away to your mother for Sinterklaas and he would never allow you to pay for it 🙂

    It would be nice to see you in Barcelona.

    Take care,

    Comment by cristinadeprada — February 6, 2009 @ 9:23 pm

  3. My sincerest condolences on the passing of your father-in-law. He sounds like a man much deserving of admiration and love.

    Comment by Min — February 7, 2009 @ 12:52 am

  4. Cristina.- mi visita era principalmente para darte las gracias por tu comentario e información acerca de los kits para forrar botones, pero me encuentro con esta triste circunstancia y como bien dices, es dificil poner palabras. Solamente puedo decirte que me uno a tu sentimiento y al de tu familia por esta inesperada pérdida.

    Gracias por la página de mercería. Nunca he comprado nada on-line, pero la tengo en mi lista de favoritos y así voy mirando materiales que me puedan interesar. Tengo alguno de estos kits que me han enviado desde USA y pienso que están muy bien y que te evitan el tiempo de hacer el encargo en la mercería, etc. Yo, el único almacén de mercería y materiales que conozco aquí, y que la verdad está muy bien surtido, es el de Comercial Parera en la calle Bailén (entre Caspe y Ali-bei). Tienen casí de todo y a muy buenos precios. Son mayoristas, pero a veces te sale más a cuenta comprar una docena de botones (y guardar los que te sobran), que uno en cualquier mercería.

    Bueno Cristina, lo dicho, un abrazo y mucho ánimo. Hasta pronto,


    Comment by paco peralta — February 9, 2009 @ 6:20 pm

  5. I am so, so sorry to hear of your loss. My deepest sympathies to your family.

    Comment by Rachel/La Bricoleuse — February 9, 2009 @ 8:33 pm

  6. Dear Cristina, so sorry to read of your loss. My Dad died last October – I know how you are feeling. It sounds like you have wonderful memories – I hope they will be of comfort to you and your family.

    Comment by Cath — February 10, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

  7. So sorry for you loss, and so thankful for the modern technologies that will allow future generations to enjoy his musical offerings.

    Comment by jill — February 17, 2009 @ 12:32 am

  8. Dear Christina,

    I’m very sorry to read this. I wish you (and your family) well.


    Comment by Dirk — February 21, 2009 @ 2:16 pm

  9. Oh! I am so sorry for your loss, Christina. He will live on in your memories and music.

    Comment by Kate — March 25, 2009 @ 9:13 pm

  10. 20 years ago i met ewald on a gym and on the beach of cala d´or / mallorca
    since this time we had contact / if he stop here in berlin – we made a workeout and took a meal /
    it is unbelievable for my wife and me ! we will miss him

    Comment by henry und familie aus berlin — July 30, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

  11. It’s been almost a year ago now. Shocking news in January 2009. He was a very important organist and he has inspired many people.
    I am still searching for his Bach – cd’s part 10 and 11. Maybe somebody can help me and mail me: sanderr24@hotmail.com

    Comment by Sander — December 29, 2009 @ 11:35 am

  12. My professor here (David Adams) in Ireland studied with this great man.
    I am honoured be another beneficiary of his wonderful teaching of organ music!

    Comment by Sean — January 24, 2010 @ 10:17 pm

  13. Thank you all for your kind words.

    It’s now one year since his death and he is missed very much, not only by us, his family, but also by his colleagues, students and by all music lovers.

    Comment by cristinadeprada — January 24, 2010 @ 11:06 pm

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